I have never been so relieved to survive a track day in all my life. Holy crapping snot-turnips, there were some right cockbuckets out there today.
The weather forecast had promised 17 degrees and overcast, which is perfect track day weather, but no, it was the hottest day of the year. 30 degrees with unbroken sunshine. Cars cooked, and so did drivers’ brains.
I would make you a compilation of all the dicks I caught on camera but, honestly, you’d get bored after the first hour. They were EVERYWHERE.
Of course, some people were fine, it’s only the 90% of drivers that gave the rest a bad name.
Ho ho, no, not really. It was probably only 10% that were being dicks, but they really made themselves known. And in a day as packed as this one was, 10% is at least 20 dicks, which is too much for everybody in one day except possibly Katie Price on her birthday.
Somehow, Mike and I survived unscathed, despite the best efforts of several future Darwin award nominees. The decent lap time in the Teg that I was hoping for didn’t come, due to insane amounts of traffic and lack of talent on my part. I did another two very busy laps in it, the first of which was another 9m40 and the second unknown because both cameras failed in the heat, but was only 6 seconds up at the 2/3 point (so still rubbish). I chipped the Elise down to 9m08 despite being held up for the entire second half of that lap by a Caterham whose mirrors had a strange vampire effect making them show everything but Lotuses. This was the story of my day – I would get a good first half lap and then some fucktard would spend the second half of the lap thinking he was keeping me honest whilst actually baulking me continuously, because *clearly* a little roller skate without the power to break a spider’s web can’t *possibly* be faster than *me* in my 300bhp rocketship. As Jonny Leroux so eloquently puts it in his BookaTrack briefings, if someone catches you up, he wasn’t PUT THERE BY GOD, he’s QUICKER. Bah.
Now, back in the guesthouse after steak-on-a-stone at the overcrowded, under-staffed and annoyingly noisy Pistenklause restaurant (albeit with good food), my overriding feeling is not a post-track-day glow like I usually have, but a relief that I’m still alive. As Mike wisely observed, the overcrowding in the car parks, the rate of stoppages and the level of track knobbery made it feel *exactly* like a Touristenfahrten day. This is not what I paid a grand for, and it is not acceptable.
The exception is the car park marshals, who were outstanding the whole time. It’s a thankless task but it really makes a difference when it’s done well. So a big THANK YOU to the guys and girls in the yellow vests who kept the traffic moving and kept a smile on their faces. And a cheeky wink to the marshal who stopped the oblivious Seat Ibiza driver from going on the track with his tailgate wide open. Seriously, that really happened – this was the level of cockbollockry we had to deal with.
So I’m sorry guys, I do like you all at Destination Nurburgring and I wish you well in the future, but I won’t be doing any more of your days, because I find your customer knobhead quota unacceptable.
And I’m not sure I want to go back to Pistenklause either any more – not because of the food, which is always good, but because it’s just so damn busy and noisy. We actually couldn’t get a pudding at all, because the waiting staff were so overrun they couldn’t get hold of a menu for us! That’s just not right.
Instead, there’s a restaurant at the far end of Adenau High Street called “La Stazione”, which we’ve been to a few times before and it was always *good* … but now it’s *excellent*. The cordon bleu schnitzel was the best I’ve ever had, anywhere. And we were the *only* customers! Life is so unfair.
UPDATE: Having watched the video of the 9m08 lap, I think I was a bit unfair to the Caterham driver. My memory of the lap doesn’t match the video very well at all. Firstly, I didn’t remember that the Caterham had already come pissing past me earlier in the lap, and he was *much* quicker than me. Secondly, although he was holding me up through the technical section, in the sense that I would’ve gone faster if he hadn’t been there, I was hovering a *long* way behind him, so it’s hardly surprising he didn’t let me by. I remember thinking I didn’t want to get any closer as he’d have better brakes than me and I didn’t want to get caught out if he braked in an odd place. But I can’t blame him for staying on his line as it really doesn’t look like I’m being delayed in the video. Funny how the brain makes you remember things that didn’t happen…